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Employment Discrimination — New Haven Firefighter Case

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We have important laws that are designed to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace.  On June 29, 2009, the United States Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision finding that the City of New Haven, Connecticut violated the civil rights act when it threw out the results of civil service examinations.  Those examinations had cost the city $100,000 and attempted to be a neutral and fair testing system for candidates for Lieutenant and Captain.  Because only the white and Hispanic candidates scored high on the test New Haven chose to throw the test out rather than to base promotions on it because minorities did not score high on the test.  The Supreme Court decision makes employment decisions more race-neutral by overturning what New Haven did.  While employment discrimination remains a serious problem in our society we should avoid penalizing persons who do well on tests just because they are white.